The Real Reason Matt Lauer Is Reportedly Getting A Divorce

After meeting on a blind date in July 1997, former Today co-host Matt Lauer proposed to Dutch model Annette Roque on April 28, 1998 in Venice, Italy. 

"It was clear she was different from anyone else he has ever gone out with," former Today co-anchor Elizabeth Vargas told People magazine ahead of Lauer's October 1998 wedding.

Their walk down the aisle signaled the beginning of a promising union, and while Lauer lived his life in front of television screens, he adopted a more private approach when it came to his second marriage. Roque seemed content to be his phantom bride, frequently shunning public events and raising their three children: Jack, Thijs, and Romy behind the scenes. 

But she was pushed into the limelight in November 2017, when Lauer was accused of sexual misconduct with a subordinate and fired from his gig as Today show co-host after more than 20 years at the helm. His ousting not only marked the downfall of his award-winning career, it also left his marriage to Roque in shambles. This is the real reason Matt Lauer is reportedly getting a divorce.

He 'acted inappropriately as a husband'

Lauer joined NBC's Today show in 1994 and quickly worked his way to becoming the face of the television broadcast. His termination in November 2017 caught many by surprise, including co-anchors Savannah Guthrie (pictured, right) and Hoda Kotb (pictured, left). Guthrie struggled to read an email from NBC News Chairman Andy Lack live on air, announcing Lauer had been fired after a colleague accused him of sexual misconduct in the workplace.

Lauer later released a statement, saying, in part: "There are no words to express my sorrow and regret for the pain I have caused others by words and actions. To the people I have hurt, I am truly sorry."

Variety later published a scathing report featuring stories from additional women who claimed they were victimized by Lauer. The alleged incidents ranged from Lauer supposedly gifting one colleague a sex toy, to reportedly dropped trou and exposing himself. There were also allegations that he made lewd comments on more than 10 occasions.

With his reputation as a family man shattered, Lauer scrambled to right his wrongs. He released a second statement to The Washington Post that said, in part: "I fully acknowledge that I acted inappropriately as a husband, father and principal at NBC." 

New year, new Matt

It was initially reported that Lauer was "fighting to save his marriage" following the salacious sexual misconducts allegations and his firing from NBC. "He doesn't want a divorce. Both of them, their first thought is their children," a source told People magazine in December 2017. 

The couple was reportedly still living together but not wearing wedding rings, leading some to believe that the chance of a reconciliation was bleak.

By the time January 2018 rolled around, the couple had reportedly "started the divorce process," and Lauer had seemingly thrown in the towel and given up hope that their marriage could be repaired. "He thinks he can start fresh," the insider told Us Weekly, "in both his personal and professional life."

At that point, it seemed like it would only be a matter of time before the twosome took the legal steps to officially part ways.

Was he a habitual cheater?

Variety interviewed a former Today show production assistant, Addie Collins Zinone, who detailed a consensual, month-long affair she allegedly had with Lauer back in July 2000, and she wasn't the only woman with whom he allegedly cheated. 

Lauer was also accused of having an affair with celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis in 2011, when they were spotted in Barbados together. Rumors emerged in 2016 that he was having an alleged fling with former Today co-anchor Natalie Morales.

A Today show staffer told People magazine, "Everyone on staff knew he cheated regularly on his wife... That wasn't a secret, but sexual [misconduct] is a shock."

The New York Post (via Page Six) backed up this claim by reporting that Lauer would go to great lengths to work his way back into Roque's good graces after his alleged infidelities. "He bought Annette a $100,000 horse, and we said, 'Well, Matt must have been caught cheating again,'" a source told the website. 

Perhaps when there was no room left in the stable, she had no choice but to move forward with ending their marriage.

'He did his thing,' and she knew it

Things went downhill after the couple said "I do," at least, according to insiders who spoke with People magazine. "Like many couples, they struggled with a modern marriage," a source told the website. 

We'll just assume the word "modern" is synonymous with "monogamous" because, according to a former colleague, the honeymoon period didn't last long for Lauer and Roque, and their marriage was reportedly "never good."

"He was a player when she met him and she knew that," the insider said. "Even many years ago, he was a flirt, a philanderer. He did his thing."

His flirty behavior was even a topic of discussion when former Today co-host Katie Couric was asked to describe Lauer's most annoying habit during an episode of Bravo TV's Watch What Happens Live. "He pinches me on the a*s a lot," she replied, as the audience audibly gasped.

A married man pinching another woman's heinie? No wonder Roque is reportedly fed up. 

She wanted out years ago

The National Enquirer reported that Roque filed for divorce from Lauer in September 2006 — just two months before giving birth to their son, Thijs, citing "cruel and inhumane treatment." She also claimed he was "extremely controlling" and was critical of her parenting skills. In other words: Roque wanted out! 

As shocking as the allegations were, we were even more flabbergasted when, one month after filing the divorce papers, Roque and Lauer reconciled. 

However, the issues in their marriage reportedly continued for years, and People magazine reported in April 2018, that Lauer was rarely speaking to Roque and the couple was "preparing for divorce" redux. "He is truly devastated and wants to make up for anything he has done to hurt people," the source told the magazine. "But the damage in his marriage can't be fixed, and each would be better off to move on."

He 'embarrassed the whole family'

After Lauer's skeletons came tumbling out of the closet, it put his marriage in a perilous predicament. "There is no chance at this point they will work things out," a source  told Entertainment Tonight in April 2018. "Matt held on to the idea that Annette might eventually forgive him because she had always stuck by him but now he has no hope."

The source went on to claim that discontentment within their marriage had been "building for years." The only thing that was allegedly stalling their attempts to put the official kibosh on their union was the embattled couple's agreement on a divorce settlement to ensure Roque "and the children will always be well taken care of."

With three kids old enough to be privy to all of the salacious allegations surrounding their dad, it's not a complete shocker that the source claimed, "Annette is angry... She feels Matt's behavior has affected a lot of people and has embarrassed the whole family."

While Roque dealt with the scandal, Lauer had a range of emotions he was allegedly dealing with, as well. "He looks miserable, like the loneliest man in the world," a source told InTouch. "He either stays inside the guesthouse [on his Southampton, N.Y. property] or sits in one of the Adirondack chairs on the porch to take calls. You never see him smiling."

They allegedly lived separate lives for years

They've been dodging rumors of marital discord for years, including in 2010 when gossip magazines reported that Lauer had moved out of their apartment. The couple clapped back and called the allegations "a work of fiction."

"I am living in my apartment with Annette and my children as a family and a couple," he told People. "I have never moved out. I am not moving out. There is no truth to that." 

But, where there was smoke, there was apparently fire. Following the sexual misconduct allegations and rumors that their marriage was spiraling into the abyss, Page Six alleged the couple had been living separate lives for years, with Roque spending her time in their Sag Harbor, Long Island home, while Lauer remained in their Park Avenue apartment to be closer to the NBC Today show's studio.

Ironing out marital issues is tough, especially when a spouse isn't living under the same roof. 

'Everybody' felt betrayed by him

It wasn't just Roque who was shattered when the sexual misconduct and cheating allegations were revealed. Even the former model's extended family was reportedly feeling duped by Lauer. The Daily Mail caught up with Roque's father, Henri, who stated, "I have no words for her husband. What he has done is bad. Everybody feels betrayed."

Henri continued to speak on his daughter's behalf, saying the marriage was irretrievably broken. "She is not going to stay with him and work it out," he said, adding that she was "shocked" and felt "sorrow for her children." 

"The situation is so bad," Henri said. "I have met Matt, he was a nice guy. I feel kind of betrayed. It's my own daughter. I don't know how the kids are doing."

Something tells us Roque and her dad aren't entirely close. However, we're sure he wasn't too far-off with his assessment about the state of her rocky marriage.

Work-life balance was tricky

Matt Lauer shared some insight on the trials and tribulations he and Roque faced within their marriage during a Facebook chat (via Heavy) in September 2016. The former TV host admitted he had issues with maintaining a healthy work-life balance. "It's a challenge for me just as it's challenging for everyone else. There are times when the schedule of this job interferes with things I want to be a part of at home," he admitted.

He credited his "understanding bosses" for allowing him to take time off from work to attend family events. He said he also made an effort to dedicate each weekend to spending quality time with his loved ones by having family lunches and dinners. Lauer called those moments of togetherness "the best time of my day."

Getting the boot from his hosting gig surely freed up his schedule tremendously. However, since he was ousted under scandalous circumstances, his newfound free time was for naught when it came to patching up his marriage.

She tried to keep him on a short leash

Lauer was at the center of yet another cheating scandal in April 2015, when he was accused of having an affair with former Good Morning America co-host Lara Spencer.  

Spencer filed for divorce from her husband, David Haffenreffer, that same year, and during that time, the National Enquirer revealed that Lauer had been "busted" by his "long-suffering wife" for "flirting up a storm with the leggy 45-year-old anchor."

"It's been a living hell for Matt now that Annette is on to him and Lara," an insider told the tabloid. "She's put him in the doghouse, and you can bet your bottom dollar she has him on a short leash!"

Roque was apparently worried that a newly-single Spencer might tempt Lauer to wander. "She's on high alert ... Annette wants Lara to stay clear of Matt — and double that for him hanging out with her any time soon," the source claimed. "She's demanding that he delete her contact information from his phone."

In the end, it appeared that there wasn't a leash short enough for Lauer. Instead of attempting to rein him in further, Roque has reportedly washed her hands of him and their strained marriage.